Some of you may know the author Steven Pressfield from his military fiction novels such as “Gates of Fire,” or as the screenwriter for “The Legend of Bagger Vance.” As of late, his focus has shifted towards providing guidance to artists of all stripes, based on his own experiences.
Books like “The War of Art,” “Turning Pro,” “Nobody Wants to Read Your Shit” and “Do the Work” are great primers on how to shift from aspiring to create art to doing the daily work of being an artist. Of the three, “The War of Art” spoke to me the most, as it focuses on combating the internal obstacles to success that we all create.
His latest book on art, “The Artist’s Journey,” has been serialized through his website, and focuses on another aspect of allowing yourself to become an artist – recognizing that when you write, paint, dance or whatever, you are connecting through your sub-conscious to something bigger than yourself. I think that this is entirely true, and anyone who has been “in the flow” when working on a project has experienced it. When my characters start to speak for themselves, and events start to unfold of their own volition, then I know that I am producing my best work (that in fact isn’t really mine at all).
My follow up novel to “This Shall be a House of Peace” essentially downloaded itself into my head one day while I was in that “flow state” doing something else entirely. I’m looking forward to revealing that story to the world as well, but not quite yet.
If you think that you want to create art, of whatever kind, check out Steven Pressfield’s books and his blog – there is enough material there to spur on a lifetime of creation.